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Study Shows Poor Roads Affect Highway Safety

July 9, 2009

A national study unveiled this month quantifies the connection between poor road conditions and highway safety.

The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation found that more than half of U.S. highway fatalities are related to deficient roadway conditions.  In fact, poor roadways are a substantially more lethal factor than drunk driving, speeding or not using safety belts, the study said.

More than 22,000 fatalities can be attributed to poor road conditions, at a cost of $217 billion annually, more than three times what the country is investing annually in roadway capital improvements.  In Pennsylvania, the total cost is $10.4 billion annually, according to the study.

Titled “On a Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways,” the study also identifies a variety of solutions, many of which would result in immediate safety improvements.

“The study quantifies what we intuitively know to be true – that poorly designed and maintained roads put the motoring public at greater risk,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner.  “Our own Pennsylvania research shows us that while economic and quality of life issues are important to the public, safety is paramount.  This study goes a long way toward helping to make that point.”

The complete study is available at www.TransportationConstructionCoalition.org.

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